A time traveler believes the plane will crash into the ground before he gets there. He’ll burn into a tiny unremarkable pile, a resemblance to the life he lived decade after decade. He wants to believe in the machine that cradles him from one destination to another, but he isn’t sure what his beliefs are anymore, except that he must go now, and finish the circle, where one point can and will meet another. He tries to pop his ears, but they will not pop. He chews his invisible gum waiting for the flight to be over with. At the baggage claim, he tries to remember what his bag looks like. When he finally spots the bag, it is too hard to lift it up. So he lets the bag make another circle around, to attempt again. At the curb, he waves to the passing cab, but its light is off. He feels stupid because he is now.
A time traveler gets out of the taxi. He stands there as the car drives away, wondering how many vacant homes were left behind by people like him. With some elbow grease, he wheels his luggage to the house in which he once called a home, then didn’t, and still doesn’t. He finds the spare key, three bricks up, two bricks over. He unlocks the door and steps in. The smells rush him, attack his senses, pulling memories and bringing tears. He collapses in the doorway with his eyes closed. The life he had before comes to him like a waking nightmare as the aroma seeps into his pores. He picks himself up and pulls his bag inside shutting the door. The second gin and tonic are better than the first he thinks. But he enjoyed them equally.
A time traveler eats a salad from the greens left in the fridge. The last healthy thing he will ever do. He leaves the plate at the table then walks to his old bedroom, pleasure or regret has him fall into his forgotten bed. It feels soft, he pulls the sheets over his head, the smell of her covers him and warms him. A small voice speaks in the back of his skull pushing him to get to his feet again. In the sock drawer, he finds his time machine. One thing a time traveler shall never misplace.
A time traveler thinks of his family and envisions he can save them, though he knows by every calculation, every late night, that he can’t. This doesn’t stop him from going back and seeing them one last time. He twists the tiny dials around, a time and place. He stands there at the train station as he watches his younger self run up the steps of the platform. He feels imprisoned with jealousy as his younger self holds hands with the life he misses every second on the second. He cries some more, a mixture of hateful and sad tears, a dry mixture it seems as only a few drops leak out. He shakes his head, and with one foot after another, he too climbs the steps of the platform to seat himself on the bench next to them. He was nervous as the daughter he still loves whispers to her father. He tries to remember the words. It wasn’t until they left that her little voice echoed deep into the cavernous tombs of his head. He sits awhile longer until a station agent asks him to leave. Once out of view he uses the time machine to go back so he can prep.
A time traveler stares at himself in the mirror, feeling aged and broken he looks deep and longing into his own eyes. What he finds there is me, a time traveler and him. We stare at each other knowing what great steps we must take, how we must play our part to end this once and for all.
I step away from the sink that’s covered in white and gray whiskers, no longer were we to be together, that’s just how life works. I make my way to the computer and write down all the memories I still had, and set them for the world to see. I stare at the words that sit there on the screen, if I could tell myself now what this would become one long suicide letter, I doubt that I would ever do it. But, I won’t. I can’t. Regardless of how misfortune may have followed me. A life in all, it was mine. I lived it and so shall he.
I take the pills out of the medicine cabinet, every sleep aid, knockout, put downer I had. I place them into a resealable bag and then shove that into my pocket. In the living room, I stare at my will and testament, thinking of the double spacing on page six, or if I really spelled her name correctly on page four. I go to open it, with the paper in between my fingers I freeze. A face tries to peek through the front window of my house, then there’s a knock on the door. I stand there with my wishes in my hands unmoving. Soon the knocking ceases and I set the envelope back down. No need for corrections now.
I fail three times in my effort to go forward, each time, with my finger on the trigger I become weary of the vague. “Does dying hurt?”I ask myself out loud, knowing full well I do not like pain. I grimace at the idea that my last moments were to be the ones I regret the most, as I have far more deserving memories. I go to the bathroom and drink a pink liquid to coat my stomach. The bottle of vodka, like a puppy, follows me around the house.
I shall say one last thing if you will permit me. It can be unfathomable that we seem capable of forgetting in our day to day lives that we will die. It isn’t such to be scared of, though watchful for, death is an end. The final piece to the large puzzle of our lives. Can we then with mortality on the horizon and our past behind us take one more step forward, to hopefully make something beautiful. To leave our mistakes for what they are, knowing you’ll try better next time. As it may seem long, our time is only short. Let this be my end and my start.